How often you clean your bed sheets can be a contentious topic amongst some people. With regular studies, surveys and tips from experts providing conflicting or vague advice, it can be confusing to figure out how often you really need to wash your bed linen.
The bottom line is that there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ answer when it comes to how often you should clean your sheets and pillowcases. Your bedsheet cleaning routine will differ depending on lots of very personal factors like how long you sleep in bed for, whether you have a pet in the bed with you, how often you wash, if you eat or drink in bed and even whether you sleep in pyjamas or not.
Fancy doing less laundry?
The majority of housekeeping articles and advice online suggest that bed linen should be washed at least once a week to keep it as hygienic as possible, but your personal lifestyle and bed habits could mean that you can leave your sheets for longer periods of time between washes.
To help you find out how often you should be washing your bed linen according to your own lifestyle habits, we have created a Clean Sheets Calculator to give you a personalised guide to how often your bedding needs a wash.
Just answer our quick set of questions, and we will give you guidance on your recommended bed linen cleaning routine.
Saving Money, and the Environment
Excessive laundry loads can be a strain on your energy bills, and of course using the washing machine less is also a decent way to look after the environment with lower water and electricity use.
As well as reducing the number of tasks on your household chores lists, reducing your number of bed linen washes can save you up to £68 a year on your electricity and water bills, and even reduce your carbon footprint by 86KG to 156KG a year!
Cost of Electricity Used per Bed Linen Wash & Dry Cycle
(Based on £0.51 per kWh)
Cost of Water per Bed Linen Wash
(Based on one wash with an efficient front-loading machine)
Cost of Products per Bed Linen Wash
(Based on household brand bulk-size detergent and fabric conditioner)
Total Electric, Water and Cleaning Product Costs of Washing One Load of Bed Linen Washing & Drying
Less bed linen washing, creates less of a carbon footprint
The BBC reports that 11% of household carbon emissions are produced from using washing machines.
It states that a washing and dryer cycle creates 3.3KG of carbon per load – which equates to 172KG annually just on washing your bed linen once a week.
Reducing your bed linen washing to once a fortnight rather than once a week reduces your carbon emissions by 86KG. If you wash your bedsheets once a month, rather than once a week, your carbon emissions could be reduced by 132KG a year.
Washing at 30 degrees, and air drying instead of tumble drying dramatically reduces your carbon footprint. You can reduce your carbon emissions by a significant 156KG (roughly the same impact of not driving your car for a month) if you start washing your bed linen just once a fortnight, rather than once a week, and choose a 30-degree wash and air dry rather than using a tumble dryer.
- Washing machines use on average 0.65kWh per use:How Much Electricity Does a Washing Machine Use? (inthewash.co.uk) and tumble dryers use 1.5kWh per use: https://billswiz.com/tumble-dryers-electricity-use. A combined washing machine and tumble dryer cycle = 2.15kWh.
- In the UK, the kWh cost is £0.51: https://www.papernest.co.uk/energy/tariffs/kwh-cost.
- Washing product costs based on £0.20 for washing powder (based on Fairy 50 wash box @£10.00) and £0.05p fabric softener (based on Comfort 3L bottle).
- Amount of water used in one washing machine cycle = 114 litres (based on a 25 gallon usage of an efficient front loading machine).
- Cost of water used in one washing machine cycle (based on £3.08 per cubic metre for supply and wastewater: United Utilities - What does a litre or cubic metre of water cost?